Please don't flame me for being ignorant and buying an off-the-shelf PC : ) Unfortunately my old pc went dead on me yesterday and I needed a replacement asap. Searched all the local stores and wound up going with an HP m7470n (specs here: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00... )
It's an AMD 64 X2 +4200 with 2gb of ram, 300gb SATA, a bunch of multimedia options, etc. I got it for $599 (it was refurbished). I am thrilled with it so far other than I don't qualify for a free Vista upgrade, but I expected that considering the price.
My question is this: the one component in this PC that sucks is the onboard ATI Radeon™ Xpress 200 Series video. Although I'm not much of a gamer (though I may give one a shot soon) I'm not thrilled with this onboard video for 2 reasons: it takes system memory and more importantly, my Dell 1905FP uses DVI but this PC doesn't offer that with the stock video, only analog output.
My old PC had a NVidia ti4200 64mb video card. It has DVI and analog outputs. That card is about 5 years old, perhaps more? My question is: is the old Nvidia card better than the onboard video? I do plan on buying a cheap (around $50 or so) video card eventually but for the short-term I'm wondering what my best option is. Thanks in advance.
The first thing to do is find out if your motherboard has an AGP slot or a PCI Express slot.
The Ti 4200 is too old. I would consider a new card.
Please find out first what kind of slot you have, then we can tell you what your options are.
Just want to throw this out there... a few years back here at the hospital where I work we had an off-the-shelf PC with onboard video... but for various reasons (I forget them now) we had to add a video card. I popped the case off and sure enough there was an empty AGP slot and there was much rejoicing. However, that physical slot wasn't active... it wasn't really there. Apparently whatever Intel chipset was used on the motherboard did not support an AGP slot and the slot was just there (I presume) so as to standardize the manufacturing process. Subsequent readings of the manual did reveal that the AGP slot was in fact disabled/inactive (that would explain why there was a brown cover filling that slot)
All I'm trying to say is... read the manual if you want to determine what type of slots you have... my eyes lied to me that time.
Ah....I really feel like a dope now. Sorry I should have thought of the AGP/PCIE thing before posting - yes, in fact this PC has a PCI Express 16 slot that is open.
What would be a good value card for that type of slot? I'd like to stay as close to $50 as possible, but would go to $100 if it made much more sense to. I would like to play the occasional game but otherwise the main reason I want to upgrade is to use the DVI out of the new card for my flat panel monitor.